MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
    But with their toils their people’s safety bought: 
    High o’er the rest Epaminondas stood: 
    Timoleon, glorious in his brother’s blood: 
    Bold Scipio, saviour of the Roman state,
    Great in his triumphs, in retirement great;
    And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught mind
    With boundless power unbounded virtue joined,
    His own strict judge, and patron of mankind. 
        Much-suffering heroes next their honours claim,
    Those of less noisy and less guilty fame,
    Fair Virtue’s silent train:  supreme of these
    Here ever shines the godlike Socrates;
    He whom ungrateful Athens could expel,
    At all times just but when he signed the shell: 
    Here his abode the martyred Phocion claims,
    With Agis, not the last of Spartan names: 
    Unconquered Cato shows the wound he tore,
    And Brutus his ill Genius meets no more. 
        But in the centre of the hallowed choir,
    Six pompous columns o’er the rest aspire;
    Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand,
    Hold the chief honours, and the Fane command. 
    High on the first the mighty Homer shone;
    Eternal adamant composed his throne;
    Father of verse! in holy fillets drest,
    His silver beard waved gently o’er his breast: 
    Though blind, a boldness in his looks appears;
    In years he seemed, but not impaired by years. 
    The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen: 
    Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian Queen;
    Here Hector glorious from Patroclus’ fall,
    Here dragged in triumph round the Trojan wall. 
    Motion and life did every part inspire,
    Bold was the work, and proved the master’s fire. 
    A strong expression most he seemed t’ affect,
    And here and there disclosed a brave neglect. 
        A golden column next in rank appeared,
    On which a shrine of purest gold was reared;
    Finished the whole, and laboured every part,
    With patient touches of unwearied art;
    The Mantuan there in sober triumph sate,
    Composed his posture, and his look sedate: 
    On Homer still he fixed a reverent eye,
    Great without pride, in modest majesty,
    In living sculpture on the sides were spread
    The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead: 
    Eliza stretched upon the funeral pyre,
    Aeneas bending with his aged sire: 
    Troy flamed in burning gold, and o’er the throne
    Arms and the Man in golden ciphers shone. 
        Four swans sustain a car of silver bright,
    With heads advanced, and pinions stretched for flight,
    Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode,
    And seemed to labour with the inspiring God. 
    Across the harp a careless hand he flings,
    And boldly sinks into the sounding strings. 
    The figured games of Greece the column grace,
    Neptune and Jove survey the
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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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